Welcome address

Welcome Address: Clr Robyn Kemmis, Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney (Edited)

Clr Kemmis with caption screen“As a major sponsor of the event the City of Sydney we uphold the principles of equality and inclusivity which underpin universal design.  Our objective is to make Sydney an innovative future‑focused city that is green, global and connected.  We’re committed to making our Sustainable Sydney 2030 a reality, and a key principle is to build a city which is inclusive and accessible to all. 

Our city is a real mix: it’s a very vibrant mix of ethnic backgrounds, ages, languages, incomes, educations and professions.  We are home to one of the city’s largest Aboriginal communities and the country’s biggest GLBTI community, we are the very rich and we are the very poor. 

We want a community with a sense of trust and connectedness, a city that values the contribution of all its people and gives them access to opportunities that will enable them to develop their unique gifts, a city that cares for at‑risk people. 

One of our Sustainable Sydney 2030 targets is to have 7.5% social housing in the city.  We support social housing tenants, refugees and asylum seekers by providing free access to council facilities and refugee welcome zone.  We support the homeless and we provide grants for programs that encourage mutual support within our community. 

We actively encourage design excellence to improve access for all our community facilities.  We have a new wayfinding strategy that will make it easier for pedestrians to get around by providing interactive street signs, maps, information boards and apps to encourage people to confidently explore what the city has to offer.

Sydney isn’t alone in facing those challenges.  By global comparisons, of course, Sydney is still relatively fortunate and a relatively equitable place, but our relative equality is no cause for complacency.  Just as we are working towards environmental sustainability in the face of challenges to climate change, so we need to work with equal purpose and commitment to create a built environment that ensures a socially sustainable and equitable city.  So I want to congratulate you folk on what you do.  I wish you well in your discussions during this two‑day conference.  I know we can learn a lot from your deliberations.  Welcome and thanks very much.